As much as Renee Zellweger has been ridiculed recently for her "new" face, it's probably a good thing that someone from her Houston area past is willing to stand up for her.
Zellweger's old boyfriend from Katy High School, Rhett Baker, has spoken publicly about his feelings on the criticism she has been receiving.
"Yeah, she looks a little bit different, but in comparison to what? I don't think it's that drastic," Baker tells the Daily Mail. "She looks like a 45-year-old healthy Renee Zellweger. She's not 35 anymore, she's had Botox probably.
"I think she looks great now. I think she looks pretty in the pictures, the only thing that's different is she's older. I think she looks phenomenal."
Baker, who dated the movie star on and off for two years when they were 15 years old, has apparently kept in touch with Zellweger over the years since she left the Katy area.
"She looks like a 45-year-old healthy Renee Zellweger. She's not 35 anymore, she's had Botox probably."
"I thought she was pretty when she was 35, I thought she was pretty when she was 25 and obviously I thought she was pretty in high school," Baker says. "I look at that picture and to me it's not any big deal. I don't look at that picture and say 'Who is that?' I look at that picture and I would say 'Oh, that's Renee'. Obviously I've known her a long time, but nothing about that picture makes me go 'Oh my God, what has she done?'
"I think it's people being hyper-critical."
Baker, who is now married and has three children, shared a photo of him and Renee posing on a haystack before Katy High School's Sadie Hawkins dance in January 1987.
He recalled their days at Katy High School where Zellweger was well-known for cheerleading and acting. According to Baker, she never seemed to worry about her appearance.
"She was very pretty, she was popular," Baker says. "People looked up to her because she was well-rounded. The fact she was in a theater crowd, a sporty crowd — she was in multiple crowds because she was very good at multiple things. People respected that."
Baker says the now-movie star was "quiet and shy" when she wasn't on stage.
When asked his thoughts on whether Zellweger had surgically altered her face, Baker says he "couldn't speak to that."
"Nothing when I knew her or even in high school or college or 10 or so years out of college would ever lead me to believe she would do any type of surgery," he tells the Daily Mail. "I guess with Jerry Maguire, Bridget Jones Diary, Chicago, and all that, Hollywood has its effect on people. Every star when they get to the mid forties, all of a sudden they become the hot topic and it's like 'What are they doing (that makes them) look different?' "
The speculation about the reason for Zellweger's new look was so severe that the actress gave a brief statement about it last week, describing the rumors about her face as "Silly."
"It seems the folks who come digging around for some nefarious truth — which doesn't exist — won't get off my porch until I answer the door," Zellweger tells People Magazine.
"I'm glad folks think I look different! I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows."